Back to Home

Government Affairs Albany Update

April 27, 2001

Business Council Superfund Legislation Introduced

The Business Council has proposed a number of amendments to the Governor's superfund budget bill, and those amendments will be introduced in the Senate by EnCon Committee Chair Carl Marcellino. The bill number is S.4787-A, and the A print should be available by next week. Note that the current bill language (S.4787) reflects an outdated version of our legislative proposal.

DEC "Environmental Navigator"

The Department of Environmental Conservation has developed a new electronic mapping program, that could be made available publicly on their web site as early as next week.

The "Environmental Navigator" – a GIS-based program – is intended to allow members of the public to locate, and obtain information about, facilities that are regulated by the DEC. Initially, the "Navigator" will include the following data sets: facilities with Title V air permits, manufacturing and municipal facilities with large wastewater discharges, facilities that are subject to emissions reporting under the federal TRI program, state "superfund" sites, permitted solid waste management facilities, and the location of Article X electric generating facility projects.

This is the first major step in making facility-specific information available on the Department's web site. The DEC intents to continually add new data sets to the "Navigator," although we do not have a formal schedule of upgrades at this time.

We will provide additional information to you as it becomes available.

The ISO Releases Market Monitor Report
Last week the New York Independent System Operator (ISO), the entity charged with overseeing and administering the state's wholesale electricity market, released its market evaluation report, The Annual Assessment of the New York Electric Markets. It was compiled by Independent Market Advisor Dr. David B. Patton who delivered the results of his year-long study to the ISO's Board of Directors in Albany on April 17th. The report examined the operations of the ISO, its various markets, its operations, and a number of highlights as well as concerns.

The report stated that the wholesale electricity markets in New York are competitive but New Yorkers will experience higher electricity prices "unless significant levels of new generation are added to the system in the near future". The report stated that much of the blame for high prices in 2000 were driven by the high cost of natural gas and oil and due to the outage of the Indian Point 2 nuclear power plant in Westchester.

In addition to the need for new generation the report also stated that (except in certain instances) suppliers have been bidding competitively into the market. The ISO does have the ability to take the proper corrective action if that situation were to change. Also, the report found that the new markets have resulted in the delivery of more power with existing facilities.

The report also stated that the inability of developers to site addition generation will cause great problems in the electricity market. With growing demand and stagnant supply the market could suffer "large price fluctuations, even with fully competitive conduct of suppliers." Tightening of supply and growing transmission constraints will have a large effect on pricing and need to be addressed. The full text of the report can be found on the ISO's web site at: http://www.nyiso.com/index.html

NYSERDA Announces Statewide Energy $Mart Forums

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced the dates for its New York Energy Smart forums. The forums will be held in seven locations throughout the state including Binghamton, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, Poughkeepsie, and Albany. The first forum will be held in Binghamton on May 3rd. It will be followed by another forum every Thursday thereafter until June 28th.

The forums will highlight the details and funding opportunities for the following programs: Opportunities for Energy Efficiency Service Programs; Renewables, Distributed Generation, and Research and Development; Doing Business with NYSERDA; Residential Energy Affordability, and; Overview of NYSERDA's New York Energy $mart Program.

The programs are day-long forums sponsored by NYSERDA to highlight the New York Energy $mart Program and seek public participation. Of particular interest to industrial and commercial members are the areas of energy efficiency, renewables and distributed generation. For more information contact NYSERDA or access their events section on their web page; http://www.nyserda.org/events.html